Counting Blessings, Not Sheep: A Prayerful Approach to Insomnia

Updated on June 3, 2017
Diana Majors profile image

Last summer I was diagnosed with an illness that is associated with sleep disturbances. I've found that counting blessings helps me sleep.

Lily, a blooming blessing.
Lily, a blooming blessing. | Source

Insomnia Newbie

Last summer I was diagnosed with POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, but that's an article for another day). One of the symptoms of this condition is sleep disturbances. Well, in the last few months, this particular symptom has reared its head quite a bit! Some nights I have trouble falling asleep, but others I wake up in the night for hours at a time and may or may not be able to go back to sleep.

While in an overnight stay at the hospital, they had a sound machine to help the patients sleep better. I tried it, and it was wonderful! It was the best night's sleep I got during my entire stay.

I know insomnia isn't a new concept, and I haven't said anything haven't heard before. It's only new to me! I've never had problems in the past with sleeping; I've always been able to go straight to sleep any time I lay down.

This Is Not Working for Me!

As I have lain in bed trying to force myself asleep, I've tried to remember everything I've ever heard or been told about what works. As a kid watching "Sesame Street," I learned a person is supposed to count sheep if they can't fall asleep. Surely you remember that episode, right?

What about this? Have some hot milk. Or hot tea. Try this. Try that. I've tried this and that, and I still can't go back to sleep. Forcing myself to lie in the bed and to just magically be sleepy is something akin to self-inflicted punishment. It's horrible to just lie there for what seems like forever and be completely unable to sleep! This is really not working for me!

And then I tried this next idea. Lo and behold, it worked!

Hymn "When Upon Life's Billows" taken from the hymnal
Hymn "When Upon Life's Billows" taken from the hymnal | Source

I Caught Myself Singing...

One of the things I have tried to fall asleep is praying. I prayed about big things like our national leadership and those who make decisions that affect us all. I've also prayed about small things, such as my cat's infection, because I know God cares and he wants me to bring my burdens to him. While this approach didn't make me go to sleep, it sure has improved my prayer life! Well, last night after my prayer, I found myself singing the hymn "Count Your Many Blessings" (also known as "When Upon Life's Billows"), and so I did just that. Not as much "counting" as just listing them.

The first verse of the song is this:

"When upon life's billows you are tempest-tossed,

When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,

Count your many blessings, name them one by one,

And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done."

Thankful for Even This

As I was listing things I am thankful for, such as my loving husband and for Jesus' love, I also tried to think of things I may be hard-pressed to be thankful for. Things like heartbreak and tears. And turnip greens! Bleh!

Insomnia. I'm also thankful for insomnia, the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep. What a crazy thing to say, right? "Girl, you need a nap!" I imagine someone is saying. You read it right. I'm even thankful for being awake when I should be sleeping, like has been happening as of late.

Why? Well, I have more time to devote to God in uninterrupted prayer, and what a blessing that is! I sing a lot to the Lord when I am having a sleepless night. I've been more thankful for the authors of the songs penning the lyrics as they did since I've had a little more time to evaluate the words and their meanings, as well as the applications to my life.

More Gratefulness

Is counting your blessings instead of sheep a sure-fire way to get some shut-eye? Of course not. But it will definitely help all of us to have more gratitude to our Lord for all the things he has given us, whether we consider them "good" at the time or not.

Even insomnia.

Romans 8:28
Romans 8:28 | Source

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28 NIV)

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2017 Diana Majors

What helps you when you can't sleep?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Diana Majors profile imageAUTHOR

      Diana Majors 

      2 years ago from Arkansas

      Thanks for the Job reference! It's well-timed! I'm glad you enjoyed the article.

    • profile image

      Georgia Estes 

      2 years ago

      Check out Job 35:10 about songs in the night. I enjoyed your article.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, remedygrove.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://remedygrove.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)